Patterico's Pontifications


Obama’s Health Care Promises

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 7:38 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

At the third and final 2008 Presidential debate, here’s what candidate Obama promised he would do about health care if he were elected President:

  • “If you have health insurance, then you don’t have to do anything. If you’ve got health insurance through your employer, you can keep your health insurance, keep your choice of doctor, keep your plan.”
  • “[W]hat we’re going to try to do is lower costs so that those cost savings are passed onto you. And we estimate we can cut the average family’s premium by about $2,500 per year.
  • “If you don’t have health insurance, then what we’re going to do is to provide you the option of buying into the same kind of federal pool that both Senator McCain and I enjoy as federal employees, which will give you high-quality care, choice of doctors, at lower costs, because so many people are part of this insured group.”
  • “We’re going to make sure that insurance companies can’t discriminate on the basis of pre-existing conditions.”
  • We’ll negotiate with the drug companies for the cheapest available price on drugs.”
  • “We are going to invest in information technology to eliminate bureaucracy and make the system more efficient.”
  • “And we are going to make sure that we manage chronic illnesses, like diabetes and heart disease, that cost a huge amount, but could be prevented. We’ve got to put more money into preventive care. This will cost some money on the front end, but over the long term this is the only way that not only are we going to make families healthy, but it’s also how we’re going to save the federal budget, because we can’t afford these escalating costs.
  • [Regarding small business owners:] … if you want to do the right thing with your employees and you want to provide them health insurance, we’ll give you a 50 percent credit so that you will actually be able to afford it.”
  • Several of Obama’s promises are things that can’t yet be measured or known — promises like “you won’t lose your health care” and “you will save $2,500 a year.” I believe Obama kept his promise to focus on preventive health care and, in a sense, he also kept his promise to negotiate with the drug companies. However, his secret Pharma agreement is inconsistent when it comes to lowering drug prices: Pharmaceuticals reportedly did agree to $80B in cuts over 10 years, but the White House also “agreed to oppose any congressional efforts to use the government’s leverage to bargain for lower drug prices or import drugs from Canada.”

    However, Obama’s promise to give small business owners a 50% credit if they provide health care to their employees seems to be gone. As for his promise to let Americans participate in the same health care that covers Congress? That’s really gone.

    — DRJ

    31 Responses to “Obama’s Health Care Promises”

    1. Obama’s statements are not to be trusted. He points to the Dutch as an example and seems to be unaware that the Dutch have reversed course and gone to private insurance for everyone. They have a mandate for everyone to buy insurance but the basic policy is bare bones, catastrophic. They have given up on single payer.

      Mike K (2cf494)

    2. Wow, the gold-standard Congressional Policy?

      That’ll save a ton of money!

      Techie (482700)

    3. Those expirationn dates have been tough on Obama’s promises.

      daleyrocks (718861)

    4. He’ll say whatever it takes to amass the extraordinary control over people what socializing health care will deliver. That’s what Daddy Soros pays him for.

      happyfeet (d8cd81)

    5. I’m reminded of McCain’s letter to Obama on lobbying reform, where he pretty much called Obama a grandstanding opportunist and liar.

      Nothing has changed. Obama polls the issue, says what people want to hear, gets elected and then does what he wants, not what he promised.

      Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)

    6. Et tu, Steven Perlstein!
      It’s Time to Give Up On the Public Option
      By Steven Pearlstein
      Wednesday, August 19, 2009

      Enough already with the public option!
      It is not the be-all and end-all of health-care reform. It is not the long-awaited safety net for the uninsured. And if, as many liberals hope, it turns out to be nothing more than Medicare for All, it won’t do anything to hold down long-term growth in health spending. . .

      This can only mean . . .

      The “political terrorists” have won!

      Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

    7. Here’s a pretty shocking excerpt from Pearlstein’s article:

      “Drug companies have monopoly pricing power for drugs under patent for which there is no substitute. Ditto for medical-equipment makers with the latest imaging machines or artificial hip joints.

      One goal of health-care reform is to begin to address these market imperfections.”

      Translation: Who needs property rights?

      DRJ (d8773e)

    8. Bro Bradley – That is the same meme that MSNBC is running with.


      JD (8e2709)

    9. DRJ – Better Half just took a new job with a Biotech company. Reading that kind of stuff scares us at a personal and philosophical level.

      And, I would note that I had not one 4-letter bomb today … I think.

      JD (8e2709)

    10. Screw health care reform. I’m still waiting for Obama to pay my mortgage.

      daleyrocks (718861)

    11. JD,
      Congrats to your better half on the biotech job. As you may know, I cover biotech among my beats. That is, when I’m not consorting with evil conservatives, Republicans and other assorted war criminals, racists and disbelievers in unicorns.

      Had some fun deflating the Orwellian “hate beat” trial balloon floated by a totally objective journalist.

      This “hate beat” idea is a power grab by ideologues that could drive coverage even further to the left. It needs to be slapped down and ridiculed as much as possible.

      I hope the dextrosphere, libertarianosphere and just plain nonpartisanjournosphere are on guard.

      Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

    12. I thought he was buying your gasoline, daley. No, wait, that wouldn’t be sufficiently carbon neutral. He must be buying you your windpowered electric skateboard wattage.

      Eric Blair (76bb2a)

    13. Bro Bradley – I just asked Eric to forward my email to you. I have a few ?’s for you.

      Rep. Weiner (perfect name) is a weiner. His visit to the Morning Joe and Hardball were breathtaking.

      JD (494eed)

    14. Eric – Actually, he also promised me a geothermal powered car, completely natural power, in addition to the mortgage deal. I think his science advisors have a lot of sway over him. Good thing politics aren’t involved in science anymore.

      daleyrocks (718861)

    15. 8:13, Kevin. That Senate letter to Obama was the best political smackdown ever.

      Truly frustrating: McCain had this guy’s number. And, in such elegant precise language. If only he’d run the campaign like this. McCain had the power to expose this fraud…a relentless pounding, done smoothly and efficiently, could’ve possibly sidestepped the race obsession. At least it would’ve laid the groundwork for all the lying and bait & switch. Co-op = Public Option = Zeke Emanuel and rationing.

      Vermont Neighbor (5308da)

    16. Watch out for reconciliation. The Senate passes a bill without the public option; the House passes a bill with it. Reconciliation ends up with the public option, then they pass the conference committee bill with a fast vote.

      Mike K (2cf494)

    17. I am still flabbergasted from listening to Rep. Weenie on Hardball. This is far from over.

      JD (4fb388)

    18. BTW, I have reported y’all to They are still watching.

      Hatey racist haters

      JD (4fb388)

    19. Mike K – They may try and ram this through, but with public opinion where it is, that will lose a lot of Democratic seats.

      Again, this is a heist. They’re not concerned with health care at all, and as such I fully expect them to try and steal as much as they can. The question becomes, what are the people willing to do about it?

      Apogee (e2dc9b)

    20. “We’re going to make sure that insurance companies can’t discriminate on the basis of pre-existing conditions.”

      That is psychotic. There is no reason to own insurance until you have to use it if that is the case. That means insurance companies can’t exist, except to pay hospital bills without ever collecting premiums.

      Which obviously means that all insurance companies are instantly driven out of business and people will just buy the only remaining policy, the government plan, on the day they need to visit the hospital.

      This country is so screwed. It’s beyond belief.

      j curtis (baef6f)

    21. jcurtis,

      It seems to me that eliminating the ability to exclude people for pre-existing conditions is the Democrats ace-in-the-hole, because once that’s law it’s just a matter of time until there’s only a few/one insurance policy covering everyone. In other words, it’s a matter of time until we have universal coverage. As Obama has always said, it may take awhile but it will happen. And the bad part is that I think many people would like a rule like this because it helps those who have job disruptions or have someone on their policy with medical issues. It’s a short-term plus with a very big long-term negative.

      DRJ (d8773e)

    22. I have always suspected the President of being a political amateur. Sure he is a great communicator and wields a great deal of star power both here and abroad. Nevertheless, he is incapable of adequately vetting nominees to his cabinet and other positions. He fails to gather tangible international support to his international agenda (environmental initiatives). He struggles to thoroughly articulate his own healthcare proposal… and now he is failing to garner support for the bills from both the Left and the Right!

      I have to agree with Camille Pagilia, Obama isn’t delivering on the domestic front, and it won’t be long until other Democrats begin to feel disenchanted.

      Federal Farmer (6ebb0c)

    23. Ear Leader is *not* a “great communicator”, or even a mediocre one…..

      he’s bumbling, mumbling moron and an amoral empty suit.

      redc1c4 (fb8750)

    24. The Leftist memes appear to be racist wingerz, birthers, and angry violent people derailed this. The fact that they have huge majorities in the House and Senate is a fact to be ignored.

      JD (b8fcee)

    25. DRJ,

      I don’t understand why you feel that anyone will want to own an insurance policy when you can buy the insurance for yourself or your family member the day of admittance to the hospital and cancel the policy the day you leave the hospital.

      What am I missing here?

      j curtis (baef6f)

    26. jcurtis,

      I think Congress will make it illegal or very undesirable to be uninsured. First, Congress could pass a law that requires everyone have insurance. Second, either in addition or in the alternative, Congress could also pass a law that imposes waiting periods (e.g., 30-60-90 days) on coverage or other rules that make it undesirable to be uninsured.

      It’s not unlike state laws that require drivers to be insured and that try to stop drivers from buying auto insurance (when they need proof of insurance for registration and licensing) and then canceling it the next day.

      DRJ (d8773e)

    27. Is Obama possibly slightly retarded like Rain Man?

      He has like one great skills to read a teleprompter but that is about it ……

      Tricks are for Kids (be8a16)

    28. What the government needs to do is just get out of the way. They’ve caused so many head aches with their controls via medicare and midicade, etc. Making it illegal to not have insurance is a scary thought to me. What ever happened to freedom to control one’s own life?

      gold_tracker (1dec4d)

    29. Enforcing the mandate will be very difficult and all those young uninsured voted for Obama. The Dutch have dealt with this and I have a post on it. Basically, they have a mandate for insurance, then allocate the premium by conditions. Preexisting conditions like diabetes have their own case management programs with some insurance companies running the case management in return for a larger share of premium.

      There is a way to do this but they are not doing it. Holland has dropped its single payer and gone to all private insurance, the opposite of what Obama is doing.

      Mike K (2cf494)

    30. What I find most ironic about Obama’s health plan is the fact that neither members of Congress or the Senate or the President will be covered by any new health care. Basically, it is them saying to us…, “it is good enough for you but there is no way that I want that type of heathcare”. So who is the servant and who is the master?

      David W. (864d37)

    31. What ever happened to freedom to control one’s own life?

      The Reform bill in the house already adds a 2.5% tax if your insurence doesn’t meet the minimum levels required.

      Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

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